Igloo’s founder and sole shareholder to date Chris Brown will step down as chair of the environmentally-focusd development management firm

Steenberg's Yard

A Places for People and Igloo development in Newcastle.

A social value and ESG-focused real estate fund manager owned by housing association giant Places for People has acquired environmentally-focused development management firm Igloo Regeneration. 

Chris Brown, Igloo’s founder and so far sole shareholder, who is also a Housing Today columnist, will step down as chair of the firm and move to an advisory role. 

All other existing Igloo directors and personnel will remain, with John Tatham and Alex Notay from PfP Capital joining Igloo’s board as non-executive directors. Igloo Regeneration aims to take environmentally sustainable approaches to regeneration.

The firms have already been working together since 2018 through a joint venture, formed following Places for People’s acquisition of the Igloo Regeneration Fund. As well as the 500 homes in its development portfolio, the JV plans to deliver a further 500 homes for sale and rent.

PfP Capital and Igloo said the aim of the takeover is to build on relationships with new investors and work on fresh, innovative schemes. 

John Tatham, finance director and board member of PfP Capital, said: “We have worked closely with Igloo since 2018, so its integration into PfP Capital increases our in-house capability to do more together. 

“Igloo is fully aligned to our core principles of responsible investment, so the acquisition makes perfect sense when you consider that we have growing demand for our placemaking and community building capabilities.”

Igloo Regeneration is the first real estate B-Corp accredited organisation. B-Corp is an award given by not-for-profit network B Lab certifying a company has met high standards of social and environmental performance.  

Peter Connolly, chief executive of Igloo Regeneration, added: “This is an exciting moment for igloo and a real opportunity to take our business to the next level and deliver more great projects and places. 

“There will be no changes to igloo’s purpose and principles, our B-Corp status will not be affected, and we will continue to deliver projects using our footprint methodology, as we have for the last 21 years.”

The footprint methodology is an internationally recognised investment methodology that creates additional value, such as generating a positive change in communities and reducing the impact on the planet.  

Connolly said that the acquisition was a “great chance to take our purpose driven product to market across the UK”.

Brown said of the sale: “The Igloo team has achieved miracles over the last two decades. People thought we were mad trying to be a regeneration developer that reduced climate damage and delivered social progress. It’s great to see many more developers now following these paths, indeed the whole real estate industry now pivoting in this direction.”

PfP Capital appointed Catherine Webster as its new chief executive in the autumn last year to start this month. 

Greg Reed, group chief executive of Places for People, and board member of PfP Capital, believed the acquisition was “creating a powerful force that will not only satisfy the significant demand from investors but also forge a new era of responsible development”.